This week marks National Apprenticeship Week, designed to raise the profile of apprenticeships across the country. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) today publishes its report "Business is Good for Apprenticeships" showcasing case studies of apprentices and employers. There has been an increase in the number of apprenticeships created, but more needs to be done to overcome the associated bureaucracy and create incentives for smaller businesses.

Commenting on the role of apprenticeships, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

"Apprenticeships are good for business and good for individuals. They are an important way of improving the UK's skills base, and giving young people opportunities beyond the classroom, particularly in the face of record youth unemployment. But for firms too they bring benefits, providing them with the skills they need to grow and build a successful business. BCC research* demonstrates that many of those firms (82%) who took on an apprentice did so to increase their skills capacity. This is why we welcome the government's commitment to cutting the red tape involved with taking on apprentices, and cash incentives for firms will make a real difference to the upfront costs they face.

"People are at the heart of every thriving company. Businesses are in fact the single largest investor in training in the UK. Developing the capability of our workforce is crucial for individual companies as well as the UK's economic competitiveness. Apprenticeships are good for business, and good for Britain. They provide individuals with the first step on a career and businesses with future employees and growth, in turn bolstering the economy."

Ends

Notes to editors:

If you would like a case study of a business which has benefitted from the apprenticeship scheme, please contact the press office.

This statistic is taken from the BCC's report Skills for Business: more to learn which was published in October 2011.

Throughout 2012, the BCC will be promoting its Business is Good for Britain campaign.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk